BASE CLOSING-CHILD CARE
Child care to be offered at Brunswick Landing
BATH, Maine (AP) - A non-profit that runs two early learning centers and provides before- and after-school care in five schools is taking over two buildings at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.
Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Steve Levesque said having child care options on site will be a good thing for current and future businesses at Brunswick Landing.
Officials announced this week that the transfer of two building has been completed. Family Focus hopes to have one of them back in operation by year's end.
Bob Parlin, executive director of Family Focus, says the organization intends to conduct a capital campaign for the renovations and create an endowment to assist families who could not otherwise afford pre-school education and care.
EPA-WOOD STOVE POLLUTION
Wood smoke plan could make new stoves too costly
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Officials and residents in Maine are worried a federal proposal to reduce wood smoke pollution will make new stoves too expensive and prevent homeowners in the poorest state in New England from buying cleaner technology.
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal would require manufacturers to make wood stoves and most other wood-burning devices much more efficient over the next five to eight years.
Maine officials from the Department of Environmental Protection say those cleaner-burning stoves would be too expensive for many residents and would hurt small retailers and manufacturers.
DEP officials are asking the EPA to fund a stove exchange program that would discount new units for Maine residents trading in the old ones.
Dredging in a Maine river is underway
KENNEBUNK, Maine (AP) - Dredging to remove hazardous shoals is underway on a portion of the Kennebunk River.
The York County Coast Star reports tons of fine sand will be removed from a channel at the mouth of the river to make passage for commercial boats safer. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began the work on Feb. 28 and is scheduled to continue through March 15.
Sand has built up at the mouth of the river as a result of coastal storms and currents in the area.
Dredging of the eight-foot-deep channel will take place from Government Warf to the end of the breakwater, in sight of a beach area.
Maine to seek feedback on lobster catches
HALLOWELL, Maine (AP) - Robust catches of iconic Maine lobster will be among the topics discussed in a series of industry meetings.
Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources Patrick Keliher will present proposed changes to the state's most valuable fishery in regional meetings in March, and one in April.
The next meeting will be at the Waldoboro Municipal Building on March 11, beginning at 5 p.m.
Preliminary reports by the state show the lobster catch brought in a record $364.5 million and topped 100 million pounds for a third consecutive year in 2013.
A schedule of the meetings throughout Maine is available on the state website.
Dartmouth responds to student 'Freedom Budget'
HANOVER, N.H. (AP) - Dartmouth College administrators say they are taking steps to address concerns raised by student demands for what they call "transformative justice" at the Ivy League school.
A group of students last month sent administrators a "Freedom Budget" decrying racism, classism, sexism and other campus problems and making 70 demands - including increasing enrollment and hiring of minority students and faculty and expanding gender-neutral housing and bathrooms on campus.
Administrators say they agree that diversity is a cornerstone of the Dartmouth community and they realize they must engage students more effectively in improvement efforts. They listed several specific steps, including $1 million to hire faculty with "diverse perspectives," and said they can and will do more.
NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATE-COMEBACKS
Senate comebacks after a decade possible but rare
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - If former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith wins the GOP primary and defeats Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, he wouldn't be the first to return to the Senate after an absence of 10 or more years.
But such comebacks are rare. According to the U.S. Senate Historical Office, 32 senators have done it, including New Hampshire's Levi Woodbury, who was elected again in 1841 after a decade's absence. The most recent example is Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana, who was elected again in 2010. Before Coats, no one else had done it since 1931.
Two other New Hampshire senators also have served nonconsecutive terms, though the gaps were much shorter - Charles Atherton returned in 1853 after four years away, and John Hale was re-elected in 1855 after a two-year absence.
NH schoolchildren helping with butterfly habitat
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Some elementary school students in Concord, N.H. are playing a key role in an effort to protect the state butterfly.
The students are preparing food for the Karner blue butterfly, once considered extinct in the state.
The Karner's population has rebounded after over a decade of carefully monitoring them, restoring their specialized habitat, and enlisting schoolchildren to help grow and plant lupines for them.
Biologists and wildlife officials are visiting elementary schools on Wednesday and Thursday to help students with the plants. The lupines will be transplanted to an area of pine barrens in Concord.
GROUNDWATER AWARENESS WEEK
NH officials urge well owners to test their water
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Officials at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services are urging everyone who has a private well to test their drinking water for contaminants.
March 9-15 is Groundwater Awareness Week in the Granite State.
Environmental officials say more than 40 percent of New Hampshire residents get their drinking water from private wells. They say many of those wells have unhealthy levels of naturally-occurring arsenic, radon, or other contaminants.
Those contaminants cannot be detected by taste or smell, so testing is the only way to determine if they are present and in what concentrations.
Officials recommend that well owners have their water tested every three to five years by an accredited lab.
The DES website lists accredited laboratories at www.des.nh.gov.
POETRY OUT LOUD-NH
NH 'Poetry Out Loud' finalists to compete
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Poetry lovers are invited to hear 12 student finalists from around the state in New Hampshire's "Poetry Out Loud" competition.
The students will recite poems compiled by the National Endowment of the Arts and Poetry at the State House on Thursday March 13 at 7 p.m. The winner will represent the state at the national championship in Washington, D.C., where a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends await the top-placing students.
Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio-produced "Word of Mouth," will be master of ceremonies.
This year, nearly 10,000 students from 37 New Hampshire high schools participated. High school champions advanced to regional semi-final competitions and students who placed in top positions at each semi-final will compete at Thursday's statewide finals.
BUS DRIVER STRIKE
Vt. bus drivers, union reach deal to avert strike
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The Chittenden County Transportation Authority says it has reached a deal with the union that represents almost 70 Vermont bus drivers, averting a strike.
The authority says 19 hours of negotiations ended Sunday morning, producing a contract proposal that the union will bring to a vote. Details of the proposal were not released.
The transit authority says passengers on its buses won't experience any service disruptions.
The drivers had said they would strike Monday if no deal was reached. At issue during negotiations were working conditions, part-time drivers and working hours.
The drivers carry about 9,500 people a day in the state's largest county.
Vermont courthouse requires $1 million in repairs
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) - The Caledonia County courthouse's crumbling foundation will require a $1 million repair job.
Bob Rea - Vermont's East Region Director of Facilities for the Department of Buildings and General Services - tells The Caledonian Record that the foundation is "beginning to fail."
Rea says replacing the foundation would take between four and six months at least.
Tentatively, the project to renovate the foundation would begin in May 2015, but Rea says the condition could worsen suddenly before then.
State Sen. Joe Benning, a Republican from Lyndon, says the Department of Buildings and General Services tells him it's safe now, but "if that changes they'll find the money and do it."
Former Gov. Dean to give talk at Castleton College
CASTLETON, Vt. (AP) - Former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean will be speaking at Castleton State College at the end of this month.
Dean will give a presentation on "The First Global (Millennial) Generation and The New Rules for Civic Engagement" on Monday, March 31, at 7 p.m. in the Casella Theater.
Organizers say Dean will discuss the use of the Internet and social media to spread the word about issues and allow people to connect.
The event is free and open to the public. To reserve a seat, contact the Fine Arts Center Box Office at (802) 468-1119 or visit www.castletontickets.com online.
LAKE CHAMPLAIN-ICE BIRDS
Birds drawn to frozen lake's Vt.-NY ferry channels
CHARLOTTE, Vt. (AP) - Water birds that normally spread out across Lake Champlain are seeking refuge in the channels left by two ferry routes that carry passengers between Vermont and New York during this bitterly cold winter.
Bird watchers have been drawn to the Essex, N.Y., landing of the ferry from Charlotte in hopes of catching a glimpse of some rare birds that are usually scattered across the length of the 120-mile lake. During a winter of below-zero temperatures, the birds have been forced to forage the open water of the channels for food.
Birders hope to spot species like the single tufted duck, which is ubiquitous in Europe and Asia but exceedingly rare in the eastern U.S. It's spending the winter in the lake along with mallards, black ducks and common goldeneyes.
TEACHER OF YEAR
Vt. officials taking nominations for teacher award
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Agency of Education is asking the public to join educators in nominating candidates for the 2015 Vermont Teacher of the Year distinction.
This is the first time that everyone can join in the process of nominating for the distinction, the agency says.
The program, launched in 1964, seeks to promote teaching and recognize an outstanding teacher in the state to advocate for the teaching profession, education and students.
To be considered, a teacher must be employed at a Vermont public, private or approved independent school, hold a current state teaching license and have a minimum of five years teaching experience.
Nominations will be accepted online through March 28.
Vermont's current Teacher of the Year is Luke Foley, an Alternative Program teacher at Northfield Middle High School.
Vt.'s Norwich U presents poet David Budbill
NORTHFIELD, Vt. (AP) - Vermont's Norwich University is going to be presenting poet David Budbill as part of the Northfield school's 2014 Spring Writers Series.
The April 2nd event will begin with a reading by the Norwich Pegasus Players from Budbill's play "Judevine."
Budbill, who lives in the Northeast Kingdom, is the author of seven books of poems, eight plays, a novel, a collection of short stories and a picture book for children.
The event continues Norwich's 2014 Writers Series. It is presented by the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of English and Communications.
The event is free and open to the public.
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